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Patient Experience Case Study - Cape Coral Hospital
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Connecting with Patients, Staff and Community through a CEO Blog


What was the challenge, opportunity or issue faced?

Wanting to connect with more people in the community, inside and outside of the health system, Cape Coral Hospital Chief Administrative Officer, Scott Kashman started a "CEO Blog” (now CAO Blog). By engaging more people, he intended to foster an improved patient experience and overall improvement as a person-centered environment. He believes the hospital needs to ensure it focuses on patients and this starts with ensuring a focus on its internal team first. "In our healthcare system we want to create a feeling of pride, trust, hope and inspiration. In order for people to feel that way, they need to know what’s going on, the shared vision for the organization and how they play a strong role towards this end," said Kashman.

What did you do to address it?

Kashman first reached out to two CEOs who already had blogs underway – Mr. Marty Bonick and Dr. Paul Levy. Both provided great feedback, told him to "use his voice” in the blog, provide his perspective and just get started. His first blog literally took less than 15 minutes to write. It focused on the balance of running a hospital, family and outside interests. The blog was essentially about the balance we all face or as Kashman says, "Training for Life!” The blog can be found through: www.thehealthcareexperience.com.

What were the outcomes?

Since the blog began two years ago, they have seen strong improvements in staff and physician engagement scores and a steady rise in patient experience scores. Kashman believes the blog serves as one more tool to help share perspective and direction and it supports Cape Coral's effort to be an Optimal Healing Environment (OHE), following the framework though the Samueli Institute. The blog also allows a forum to reflect on these so people can understand how important their work is towards the hospital's mission. "As they find deeper meaning and deeper purpose in their work, our patients and families benefit greatly," said Kashman.

The key OHE elements include:

  • Developing healing intention (ensure expectations and experience levels are clear)
  • Experiencing personal wholeness (ensure all aspects of the care and support team are incorporated into person-centered care)
  • Cultivating healing relationships (provide compassion and empathy)
  • Creating healing organizations (ensure teamwork in place, processes support need and the leadership team is engaged with emphasis on healing and curing)
  • Practicing healthy lifestyles (ensure members of the health care team and staff are engaged in their own self-care
  • Applying collaborative medicine (encourage the integration of traditional medical approaches with integrative modalities)
  • Building healing spaces (promote health and wellness through the physical space
  • Fostering ecological sustainability (follow ecological sustainability practices including recycling, "green” products and packaging)

About Cape Coral Hospital
Cape Coral Hospital is part of Lee Memorial Hospital System (LMHS). LMHS has over 10,000 employees, more than 4,500 volunteers and auxilians and over 1,100 physicians on the medical staff. LMHS includes four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals with a total of 1,423 beds: Cape Coral Hospital – 291 beds, Gulf Coast Medical Center – 349 beds, HealthPark Medical Center – 267 beds Lee Memorial Hospital – 355 beds, The Rehabilitation Hospital – 60 beds and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida – 101 beds.

Lee Memorial Health System:

  • Is the largest public health system in Florida that receives no direct tax support.
  • Makes more than 1 million patient contacts each year.
  • Has the only state approved Level II Trauma Center between Tampa and Miami.
  • Is ranked No. 1 in the nation for the minimally invasive cardiac surgery program.
  • Has the largest orthopedic program in Southwest Florida.
  • Is certified as a Fit-Friendly workplace through the American Heart Association
  • Was ranked fifth in the nation by AARP on its list of 2008 Top Employers for Workers over 50 and second in the nation on its list of 2009 Top Healthcare Employers for Workers over 50.

About Scott Kashman
Scott serves as the Chief Administrator Officer of Cape Coral Hospital, part of Lee Memorial Health System with system responsibility for Radiology and the system’s two medically based wellness & fitness centers. Prior to Cape Coral, he served as the Chief Executive Officer with Ascension Health’s St. Joseph Medical Center, a 310 bed medical center in Kansas City and Chief Operating Officer with Mercy Hospital Anderson in Cincinnati, part of Mercy Health Partners. He also held executive roles with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, University Hospitals of Cleveland and Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Scott worked as a psychiatric counselor for five years before going into healthcare management. He published several leadership articles and completed a year long Ethics Fellowship with Northwestern University Medical School. Scott received his Masters of Healthcare Administration from Tulane University and his undergraduate degree from University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

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